US senator steps in to help man clear credit report of errors - KCTV5

US senator steps in to help man clear credit report of errors

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ASHLAND, MO (KCTV) -

A Missouri man's three-year quest to clear his credit report of errors is finally close to being resolved after a U.S. senator stepped in to help.

"This is something that has been extremely frustrating, something that just a constant worry to try and get corrected," Ky Pohler told KCTV5 News.

Pohler, 25, first learned he had less-than-perfect credit after he applied for a home loan. The mortgage lender told the University of Missouri graduate, "Another person's credit history and accounts are intermingled with yours."

That person was Ky Pohler's older brother, Kelsey Pohler, whose $249,000 in medical school student loans were erroneously placed in Ky Pohler's credit file.

"My report was basically encompassing my brother and I on the same report," Ky Pohler said.

KCTV5 News reviewed three separate credit reports which listed Ky Pohler and Kelsey Pohler as being the same person. Both men were even linked to the same Social Security number despite having separate birth dates.

Ky Pohler spent months trying to clear his name and credit report, but said he was unable to speak to anyone at any of the three credit reporting bureaus. Equifax sent a letter to his home address in his brother's name.

"For that to happen, it seems like a total joke in relation to what's going on with the credit bureaus," Ky Pohler said.

He hired Donna Perkins, who owns Kansas City Credit Services, a licensed, for-profit credit repair company. Perkins was able to get TransUnion and Experian to remove the false debt from Ky Pohler's credit file. Equifax would not remove the debt, even after Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster got involved.

"For over a year and a half, we fought that battle with Ky," Perkins said. "This is not normal procedure. Normal repair time is around six to 12 months. Even with it going clear to the AG's office saying we've checked it multiple times and it's his."

KCTV5 contacted U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill about Ky Pohler's case. The Missouri lawmaker has been a staunch critic of credit reporting errors, even holding a hearing on the issue back in May.

"They make mistakes all the time," McCaskill told KCTV5 News. "In fact, they make mistakes that really impact people's lives and this isn't like where you can choose which grocery store to go to or which car you buy."

McCaskill's DC staff immediately contacted Equifax about the situation. Within hours, the credit bureau told KCTV5 it was reviewing Ky Pohler's case and working to correct any errors.

"You shouldn't have to get a United States senator to fix it for you," McCaskill said. "You should be able to fix it for yourself, quickly and efficiently, and that's why we've got to hold them accountable and there [should] be some penalties that they'd have to pay if they don't, if they ignore consumers."

This past summer, an Oregon woman won an $18 million judgment against Equifax for refusing to remove false information that was damaging her reputation. Ky Pohler was considering consulting with the attorney on that case and he still hasn't ruled it out.

"I think there has to be something done in relation to responsiveness," he said.

The National Association of Credit Services Organizations has tips on their website about how to repair and/or improve your credit score.

Click here for more information.

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